Samosas and spicy chickpeas: Will Bowlby’s Indian-inspired picnic recipes

Gujiyas are typically sweet, deep-fried treats from the north of India, and here I’ve made a savoury version using chorizo, inspired by the famous Goan sausage, or choriz, originally brought over by Portuguese.

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Makes 10

3 medium maris piper potatoes, scrubbed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
30 fresh curry leaves
½ red onion, finely diced
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
160g chorizo, skinned, if need be, and roughly chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp finely chopped green chilli
1 small handful chopped coriander leaves
1 good pinch sea salt
The juice of ½ lime
500g puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp fennel seeds

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, then bake the potatoes for 40 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the potatoes (leave the oven on), put to one side to cool a little, then scoop out the flesh and put in a bowl.

Heat the coconut oil in medium saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and, when they start to pop, the cumin seeds, curry leaves and onion, and cook for a couple of minutes, to soften. Add all the powdered spices, stir for another minute, then add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until the oil is released. Stir in the ginger, potato flesh, green chilli, coriander, salt and limejuice, then take off the heat and leave to cool.

Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and use a cutter or glass to cut out 10 x 10cm-diameter circles. Spoon a 40g dollop of the chorizo mixture in the middle of one circle, lightly brush the edges of the circle with egg wash, then fold one side of the pastry over the mix to create a crescent. Crimp the edges with a fork, brush with more egg yolk and sprinkle over a few fennel seeds. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.

Put the pastries on a lined oven tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, then remove and eat hot or pack them away for later to eat cold.

Crispy chickpea chaat
This refreshing salad is sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time, and is both quick and easy to make and assemble. If you like, serve topped with a splosh of cold sweet yoghurt.

Prep 10 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 2-4

1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
400ml rapeseed oil, for frying, plus 100ml extra, for dressing
2 tsp chaat masala
60g mango chutney – the Geeta’s brand is my favourite
1 small handful fresh mint leaves
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped red chilli
1 small handful chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to finish
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
Juice of ½ lime

Heat 400ml of the oil in a medium saucepan to 180C (test by dropping in a chickpea: it should fizzle and the skin crack). Fry the chickpeas in batches for four or five minutes, until nicely crisp, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper, season with a generous pinch of chaat masala and leave to drain.

Blitz the remaining 100ml oil with the mango chutney, mint leaves and remaining chaat masala until smooth, then tip into a bowl, add the chickpeas and all the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl or sealable picnic box, and garnish with a few coriander leaves.

Spring green, pea and potato samosas with coriander chutney

These are baked rather than deep-fried, and use filo pastry rather than the traditional Punjabi version, which results in a lighter and fresher samosa.

Prep 15-20 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Makes 10

2 medium maris piper potatoes, scrubbed
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
½ white onion, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger/garlic paste – make this by blitzing equal quantities of peeled garlic and unpeeled fresh ginger and a little rapeseed oil to a smooth paste (save any excess in a jar in the fridge – it comes in very handy)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
70g spring greens, finely shredded
80g frozen peas, defrosted
1 tsp salt
5 sheets (100g) filo pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp carom seeds

For the chutney
2 handfuls fresh coriander leaves
1 small handful mint leaves
½ green chilli
2 tsp ginger/garlic paste (see above)
100ml rapeseed oil
The juice of ½ lemon
1 pinch sugar
1 pinch salt

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and bake the potatoes for 40 minutes, until cooked through. Remove, leave to cool a little, then scoop the flesh into a bowl.

Heat up the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the mustard seeds and, when they start to pop, add the cumin seeds and onion, and cook for a few minutes, until the onion softens. Add the ginger/garlic paste and powdered spices, cook for a minute, thenadd the greens and peas, and cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in the potato, then take off the heat and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, make the chutney simply by blitzing everything until smooth.

Cut the filo sheets into 10 30cm-long x 10cm-wide rectangles (depending on the pastry brand, there may well be some offcuts, so save them for another use), and arrange them horizontally on a board. Put 30g of the cooled potato mix on the bottom left corner of one pasty rectangle, fold up to the top left corner in a triangle shape, fold back down to the bottom in a triangle, and repeat all along the length of the pastry until you reach the righthand side of the filo and are left with a neat rectangle. Before making the final turn, egg wash the exposed pastr, and, once you’ve made the last fold, use this to stick together the edges and seal. Repeat with the remaining filo and filling.

Brush the top of each samosa with egg yolk, sprinkle over a few nigella and carom seeds, then bake in a 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and eat hot, or leave to cool before packing up; in either case, serve with the chutney for dipping.

Mango lassi
A cool and refreshing relief from the spicy food. Add seasoning in the form of salt and/or cumin to add another element to this sweet drink.

Prep 5 min
Cook 5 min
Chill 1 hr+
Serves 4-6

750ml mango pulp – tinned is fine
375g Greek yoghurt
1 pinch ground cumin
2 pinches sea salt flakes, or Himalayan pink salt, if you have it
2 pinches finely ground pink peppercorns
375ml cold water

To serve
Mint sprigs
A few cubes of diced fresh mango

Put the mango pulp, yoghurt and water in a bowl, and stir until the yogurt thins out a little and the consistency is that of a smooth, light cream. Season with the cumin, salt and pink peppercorns, give it another few stirs and pop it in the fridge to chill for an hour or more. Decant into a flask, and serve with a sprig of mint or diced mango.